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While ASOS and Topshop may have larger followings, New Look's social media strategy is driving more valuable engagement, according to a new study. 

Following last week's stats showing Topshop as the most popular retailer on Facebook and Twitter, stats from Stickyeyes look at the balance between volume and social engagement. 

As well as engagement, the study looks at the promotional tactics used by retailers on social media and their effectiveness... 

The balance between social volume and engagement

The study looks at volume versus engagement. Volume being the number of followers, audience size, number of mentions etc. 

The engagement stats look at the quality of interactions between brands and followers, positive sentiment towards the retailer, as well as the number of retweets. 

The chart shows the balance between social volume and engagement levels for the five retailers studied:

  1. ASOS topped this with a score of 97.26%. 
  2. New Look has the most robust balance between volume and engagement.
  3. Topshop and River Island have the most imbalance within their strategies. For Topshop, volume outweighs engagement, while the reverse is true for River Island. 
  4. Boohoo scored proportionally higher on the quality of their engagement than volume.

Social engagement score

  1. Although New Look has a smaller Facebook fan base than ASOS this audience is more engaged.
  2. New Look has a higher level of positive sentiment than both ASOS and Topshop.
  3. Both ASOS and Topshop scored well regarding retweets. This suggests they are producing quality content that is engaging their user base and is being propagated.
  4. Boohoo and River Island discussion volume was lower but they have sought to interact with a core contingent of fans to great effect giving them a high repeated brand engagement score. 

Tactics used by retailers to encourage engagement

The chart below shows the tactics used by the five retailers to drive engagement on social media sites. 

(Click for larger version)
  1. All retailers have a healthy focus on price promotion tactics with Boohoo and River Island having the most prevalent share. 
  2. ASOS has strong tactical engagement within the area of customer support. 
  3. Boohoo has predominantly focused on price and product promotion tactics. 
  4. River Island is the only retailer who has utilised competition techniques to a significant extent.
  5. Blogger outreach has been extensively used by the likes of River Island and Topshop.

Which tactics created the most positive sentiment? 

Promotions and special offers came top here, but customer support follows close behind, showing the value of social customer service

In fact, New Look and ASOS, who both focus on customer support via social media, had a far lower proportion of negative mentions around customer service (7% and 18% respectively).

Topshop and River Island had the highest proportion of negative sentiment (both 31%) in this area.  

Which tactic led to the highest number of retweets? 

Not surprisingly, price promotions were the most popular tactic on Twitter, if retweets are a measure of this. 


If you would like to see a full copy of the Stickyeyes social engagement study, please email hello@stickyeyes.com.

Graham Charlton

Published 26 April, 2012 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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